The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. II Corinthians 10:4 (NIV)
An infantryman will tell you that a weapon is very important to his survival. In basic training, he will have learned to consider his weapon like a second spouse. He will treat it with great care and will constantly keep it in the cleanest state possible so that when the time comes for him to trust his life to it…it will be in tip top shape and perform as designed. Most will be able to disassemble and reassemble while being blind folded. Drill instructors will repeatedly make young recruits race to see how fast they can perform these assembly drills.
It takes attention to detail and discipline for that soldier to keep his weapon in an excellent condition for combat. Many lives have been lost by troops who lacked the self-discipline to keep their weapon clean. When the time for top performance came along, their rifle jammed causing the enemy to be able to shoot without fear of return fire. A weapon that is properly cared for will rarely if ever jam in time of need.
Likewise, it takes discipline for a believer in Jesus Christ to keep his spiritual life fine tuned and clean. Just as an infantryman pays daily attention to that weapon, it is also crucial for a Christian to maintain their spirituality on a daily basis. The importance of daily time in prayer, Bible study and fellowship with other believers cannot be over emphasized. Dust or moisture in the barrel or bolt assembly of a rifle can lead to rust and grime causing the weapon to malfunction. The dust and pollution of the world causes a believer in Christ to feel distanced from God which leads to skewed attitudes and ultimately sinful behavior. Daily maintenance is not an option with a combat rifle and neither is it optional for the healthy Christian life.
The Christian walk is certainly a battle. For us to evangelize and be the witness for Christ that we have been called to be, we must not be distracted by our own sin and shortcomings. It is important that each day we walk with Jesus Christ in such a way that when we wield the Bible there is power behind the words we share. The Bible is certainly sharper than a two edged sword. However, if we are not in good spiritual shape we become sluggish and are not vigilant to see the opportunities for furthering the gospel. We become easily distracted and just as with a member of the infantry who becomes distracted, the cost can be very high.
Lord, help me to have the barrel of my spiritual weapon to be well oiled and clean from what the world would try to soil it with. Help me to have the discipline and desire to keep well tuned to you and to my walk with you. Please give me eyes to see what you are doing and how I can plug into that action.